White Columns

Gallery William Scott – ‘Good Person’

White Columns is pleased to present ‘Good Person’ a solo exhibition by the San Francisco-based artist William Scott. This will be William Scott’s second exhibition at White Columns following on from his 2006 White Room exhibition.

William Scott (b. 1964) works at the celebrated Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, California, USA. Established in the early 1970s Creative Growth is a visionary art workshop and studio program that serves a community of adult artists with mental, physical, and developmental disabilities.

William Scott’s drawings, paintings, and sculptures relate directly to his personal circumstances: exploring the social topography of his native San Francisco, and aspects of his emotional and spiritual life. For many years William Scott has been working on an ongoing urban planning project that would see San Francisco – in Scott’s terminology – “cancelled”, only to be re-imagined, rebuilt, and rechristened as a new city named ‘Praise Frisco.’ Scott’s urban project, which was the subject of his 2006 White Room exhibition at White Columns, is rooted in a desire to see his own socially marginalized neighborhood of Bay View / Hunter’s Point “torn down” and then subsequently renewed according to his carefully detailed plans. Scott’s ambitious, optimistic, and deeply humane project engages explicitly with San Francisco’s recent past, present realities, and potential future.

The current exhibition - ‘William Scott – Good Person’ - focuses on Scott’s ongoing series of portrait works which depict himself, members of his immediate family, and members of his local community, alongside characters drawn from his imagination (though often based on real subjects, including identifiable celebrities such as Diana Ross.) Scott juxtaposes these individuals and characters in complex and recurring narrative scenarios that operate somewhere between autobiography and fantasy (e.g. in one series of works Scott imagines how his life might have unfolded in different circumstances.) Whilst rooted in personal experience, William Scott’s work ultimately addresses universal questions of identity, community, faith, and the daily challenges we all face navigating reality.

‘William Scott – Good Person’ has been organized by White Columns in collaboration with the Creative Growth Art Center. An expanded version of this exhibition, organized by White Columns, was originally presented at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris in 2008, as a part of a series of exhibitions coordinated by the British artist Jeremy Deller.

William Scott’s work has been shown extensively at the Creative Growth Gallery, Oakland, CA, and in other Bay Area venues including Southern Exposure and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco. His work has been shown at Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York, and the Palais de Tokyo, Paris. He recently had a one-person exhibition at Galerie Impaire, Paris (2008.) White Columns has collaborated extensively with the Creative Growth Art Center over the past four years, presenting solo exhibitions by Creative Growth artists Aurie Ramirez, Dan Miller, and William Scott at White Columns, as well as presenting work by these and other Creative Growth artists in exhibitions in Berlin, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Miami, and elsewhere.

‘William Scott – Good Person’ has been generously supported by The Jeffrey A. Altman Foundation and Owl Creek Asset Management.

Installation view

Installation view

Installation view

Installation view

William Scott
Praise Frisco at Morning, 2005
Watercolor and ink on paper
Courtesy of the artist and Creative Growth